How Happy is My Leper?

Right before drop off, they both seemed really tentative and sentimental. I think they even told each other "I love you," and "I'll miss you." Then one of them farted and they both laughed.

Right before drop off. I miss you.

Both children at camp. Simultaneous. Phenomenal + rare as Supermoon.

Just before camp, Bubs ask w. genuine curiosity Is my camp pretty much like a leper colony? (No! Where did you hear about a leper colony?) I read about it. And it is like a leper colony. Because it’s a place where a bunch of people with the same disease live with each other, apart from everyone else.

BIGFOOT: But a leper colony was set up to keep people with leprosy away from other people, because people were afraid they’d catch leprosy. (<—No idea if true*.) And diabetes camp is set up to be for fun

BUBS: Hrrrrrmmmm. I guess

Bubs sad at drop off. Nervous? Bigfoot/Spouse not very worry. Also need freshen up/change clothes/drive to cocktail party/attend party. Lobster salad – Veuve Cliquot await! Bye, Bubs.

Then drop Jack sailing camp; children sleep on sailboat. Sounds cramped, hot, agony for Bigfoot but vast appeal for Jack. Last minute: panic in eyes. Some kids young, or old, girls, or nerds! Maybe thought would be paradise of madras shorts, bead necklaces, black socks pulled up. Best look in the world! Instead regular old mixed-bag humanity. Alas, must go freshen up/change clothes/drive to cocktail party/attend party. Lobster salad – Veuve Cliquot await! Bye, Jack.

Fun party. Next day sleep late. Then begin question: happy? Boys? Okay? Sons okay? Too hot? Too sad? Regret nubbly-texture shower shoes/too painful? Eating? Basals? Pond too much seaweed? Slimy on bottom? Any windows on sailboat? Sleep okay?

Decide Jack fine because no way know otherwise: no information until pick up Friday. So just trust okay. But Bubs’s camp each night post pictures for parental analysis/anxiety fondle.




and this

It's like he knows we'll see these and he's sending a message. Or coincidentally he appeared wretched for just this one split second

It’s like he knows we’ll see these and he’s sending a message. Or coincidentally he appeared wretched for just this one split second

and this

Caught in the act of not actively frowning!

The frown or smile or placid, relaxed expression is hidden here by a pitcher of Crystal Light. The back turned toward the group I am not using as an indicator; there *could be* someone enchanting to his left.

and this

Still not smiley, but participating willingly in the make-a-funny-face group portrait. This is the one that made me feel better.

Still not smiley, but participating willingly in the make-a-funny-face group portrait. This is the one that made me feel better.

and this

I mean, if this were someone I didn't know, i wouldn't automatically think, "That's a miserable person."

I mean, if this were someone I didn’t know, I wouldn’t automatically think, “That child is in agony.”

and then:

He's okay!

He’s okay! He’s okay!

So grateful this not-frown/almost smile picture. Hope tomorrow inch even closer camp happiness.

*Read little bit about leper colonies. Actually Bubs correct: pretty much like summer camp.

The conditions in a leper colony could be quite varied. Some colonies were essentially like small villages, and although they happened to be in remote, isolated locations, the residents experienced fairly pleasant living conditions. In other cases, a leper colony could be a very grim place, with lack of access to suitable housing, poor conditions for farming, and limited opportunities for support from the surrounding community. In both cases, the fact that residents were not allowed to leave the leper colony would have been chafing, to say the least.



  1. laura · June 25, 2013

    Both girls at camp for me too. (bad thing – can’t sleep – harhar, really funny joke) Glad I’m not the only one that scours the camp photos to see just a glimpse of an elbow or anything!


    • Katy · June 26, 2013

      Hope you’re getting lots of happy photo glimpses!


  2. ktc · June 25, 2013

    brilliant . hilarious . heartbreaking . happy ending i hope!


    • Katy · June 26, 2013

      hi kim!


  3. Katie · June 25, 2013

    I am laughing so hard! Lepers?! Kids are so weird πŸ™‚ Joey decided he wanted to go back to camp this year after a pretty traumatizing (to him) sail boat incident two years ago. I’m so excited- now if only I could find a sleep-away camp for two-year-old girls.


    • Katy · June 26, 2013

      2-year-old sleep-away camp = gold mine!


  4. mollyjade · June 25, 2013

    I got to visit a former leprosy community when I lived in Baton Rouge. It was fascinating. But not as much Crystal Light as diabetes camp.


  5. Reyna · June 25, 2013

    Joe refuses to go to diabetes camp. 😦

    Cannot wait to hear how it went for Bubs.


  6. Scott K. Johnson · June 25, 2013

    Oh man. That kid of yours has quite a brain on him. A leper colony? While that sounds really terrible (because it is), I’m super impressed that he knows what that is and made the comparison.


  7. Scott E · June 25, 2013

    This is exactly why I don’t like to use the term “diabetic”, particularly in a noun form. There’s only one other disease that I can think of where people sometimes say “you are a ___” rather than “you have ___”, and that is leprosy. Maybe people called Bubs a diabetic too frequently, and he drew the same parallel that I did. (If he did, it means he’s a smart kid and you’ve got nothing to worry about).

    Also, diabetes camp isn’t for everyone. I despised every minute of my first summer there, and my mother still has a letter that I wrote in 1981 (but never mailed, she found it when I returned home) to prove it. I went back to the same camp six years later, after two of my classmates had been diagnosed and encouraged me to give it a shot. It was better than the first time, but it wasn’t anywhere near the Happiest-Place-On-Earth that other people described D-camp to be like. Don’t pressure him to like it, or to make him think he needs to make you believe he likes it. He doesn’t. (But if he does, that’s good too!)

    You spoil him at home with eggy pancakes with authentic maple syrup and a chocolate chip in each one. How can institutional summer-camp food compare with that?


    • Katy · June 26, 2013

      Thanks for this. I’ve been assuming it will be the “Happiest-Place-On-Earth,” but you’re right.


  8. Sara · June 26, 2013

    Oh man! I went to (non-D) camp every summer and winter from 6th grade to 12th grade. Only ONE time did someone get so homesick that they had to get picked up. The rest of the time they were “over it” after the first day. Too much fun to remember how miserable they were.

    Hope Bubs is having a great time!


  9. mywholefamilystrong · June 26, 2013

    So glad to have found you! I’m Jacque from and I have a 9 year old son with type 1 diabetes. He’s going to camp this week too! Looking forward to following you guys!


  10. Briley · June 26, 2013

    I went to D camp from 8-15 (AKA every year I was allowed) and loved every minute of it. My best friend the first summer wrote home to her mother every single day that she was miserable. I somehow saw them before she did and they asked me if this was true, and I said “Of course not!” The problem was that when she sat down to write she got sad because that is when she thought about her parents. When the kids are having less active times, it’s harder to catch them being uber happy because that is when they think! Damn kids, why must they use their brains? πŸ˜‰


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